“How did that happen? What you need to know about the Iran nuclear deal”


NBC NEWS

By Daniel Arkin, Staff Writer, NBC NEWS

The announcement this weekend that the United States and five other world powers had struck a deal with Iran that curtails its contentious nuclear program in exchange for limited relief from painful economic sanctions marks the most significant accord between Washington and Tehran in more than a quarter-century.

It also caps off nearly three months of whirlwind diplomacy — as swift as it was unprecedented — following a decade-long global nuclear standoff with Iran and an extended history of failed negotiations.

“Diplomacy opened up a new path toward a world that is more secure,” President Barack Obama said late Saturday night from the State Dining Room in the White House just after the historic agreement was signed at the Palace of Nations in Geneva.

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“Rouhani: Iran not a threat, sanctions are ‘violent’


NBC NEWS

By Erin McClam, Staff Writer, NBC News

NEW YORKIranian President Hassan Rouhani told the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday that his country poses “absolutely no threat to the world,” and sanctions that have crippled its economy are “violent — pure and simple.”

In his first address to the world body, hours after President Barack Obama spoke, Rouhani also said he is prepared to engage in “time-bound” talks to resolve the dispute over Tehran‘s nuclear program.

Rouhani’s closely watched visit to the United Nations followed a series of diplomatic overtures the centrist-leaning cleric has made to the West since he was elected to replace hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and he stressed his moderate credentials.”

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“Understanding Syria’s Assad family”


THE ASSAD FAMILY

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President Hafez al-Asad with his family in the...
President Hafez al-Asad with his family in the early 1970s. From left to right: Bashar, Maher, Mrs Anisa Makhlouf (the then new First Lady of Syria), Majd, Bushra, and Basil. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Inside Bashar al-Assad’s family circle

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“Iranian sharpshooters target rats”


CNN

(CNN) — The rats die hard in Iran.

Sharpshooters in Tehran are training their air gun scopes on thecountry’s longstanding rodent problem. Rats are reportedly running rampant in 26 districts in the capital.

Iran has the biggest beef with Norwegian rats, Mohammad Hadi Heydarzadeh, a top environmental official, told CNN.

He said the critters have “entered Iran from abroad by cargo ships.”

Though it’s unclear if the rats come with paperwork, a search of ratbehavior.org shows that that particular kind of rat can grow 16 inches long. And they are very aggressive, “fighting, chasing, biting and boxing.”

While the Iranians have used poison to kill the rats during the daytime, at night the teams of sharpshooters use infrared lenses to hunt them down.

“We have identified the rats’ places of congregation by using (computer) software,” Heydarzadeh explained.  FULL  ARTICLE

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Obama Won’t Meet Netanyahu; PM Says US Loses ‘Moral Right’ to Stop Attack


Breaking from Newsmax.com

Obama Won’t Meet Netanyahu; PM Says US Loses ‘Moral Right’ to Stop Attack

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday said the United States had forfeited its moral right to stop Israel taking action against Iran’s nuclear program because it had refused to be firm with Tehran itself.

At the same time, according to Israeli officials, the White House rejected a request by Netanyahu to meet President Barack Obama in the United States this month. An Israeli official said aides were told Obama’s schedule will not permit a meeting when Netanyahu visits the United Nations this month.

Netanyahu has met with Obama on all the Israeli leader’s U.S. trips since 2009.

Earlier, in comments which appeared to bring the possibility of an Israeli attack on Iran closer, Netanyahu took the Obama administration to task after Washington rebuffed his own call to set a red line for Tehran’s nuclear drive.

“The world tells Israel, ‘Wait, there’s still time’. And I say, ‘Wait for what? Wait until when?'” said Netanyahu.

“Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don’t have a moral right to place a red light before Israel,” he added, addressing a news conference with Bulgaria’s prime minister.

Netanyahu has been pushing Obama to adopt a tougher line against Iran, arguing that setting a clear boundary for Iran’s uranium-enrichment activities and imposing stronger economic sanctions could deter Tehran from developing nuclear weapons and mitigate the need for military action.

But on Monday Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States would not set a deadline in further talks with Iran, saying there was still time for diplomacy to work.

Netanyahu’s comments came as diplomats said six world powers, including the United States, were poised to voice “serious concern” about Iran’s uranium enrichment program and to urge Tehran to open up access to suspected nuclear sites.

Netanyahu has had a strained relationship with Obama over Iran and other issues, such as Jewish settlement building in the occupied West Bank.

But he has never put differences with Obama — who has pledged he will “always have Israel’s back” — in the context of morality.

Iran, which denies it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons, has threatened to retaliate against Israel and U.S. interests in the Gulf if it attacked, and Obama’s re-election bid could be thrown off course by a new war.

Republican challenger Mitt Romney has accused Obama of throwing Israel “under the bus.”

Without mentioning Clinton by name, but pointedly parroting her use of the word “deadline,” Netanyahu said not setting a clear boundary for Iran would only encourage Iran to continue its quest for nuclear arms.

“If Iran knows that there is no deadline, what will it do? Exactly what it’s doing. It’s continuing, without any interference, towards obtaining a nuclear weapons capability and from there, nuclear bombs,” he said.

Widely thought to be the Middle East’s only nuclear power, Israel says a nuclear-armed Iran would be a threat to its existence.

© 2012 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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What is really happening in Iran? – Pepe Escobar – Asia Times


Aljareeza


Khamenei's reportedly fears a coalition of 'purists' will rise up and get rid of him REUTERS

Hong Kong – The supreme war-or-peace question regarding the Iran psychodrama has got to be: What game is Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei really playing?

Sharp wits among the lively Iranian global diaspora maintain that the Supreme Leader is the perfect US/Israel asset – as he incarnates Iran as “the enemy” (although in most cases in a much less strident way than Ahmadinejad).

In parallel, the military dictatorship of the mullahtariat in Tehran also needs “the enemy” – as in “the Great Satan” and assorted Zionists – to justify its monopoly of power.

 Drums of war:
The US media and the ‘Iranian threat’

The ultimate loser, voices of the diaspora sustain, is true Iranian democracy – as in the foundation for the country’s ability to resist empire. Especially now, after the immensely dodgy 2009 presidential election and the repression of the Green movement. Even former supporters swear the Islamic Republic is now neither a “republic” – nor “Islamic”.

For their part, another current of informed Iranian – and Western – critics of empire swear that the belligerent Likud-majority government of Israel is in fact the perfect Iranian asset. After all, Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and former Moldova bouncer turned Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s non-stop warmongering tends to rally Iranians of all persuasions – always proudly nationalistic – behind the flag.

The absolute majority of Iranians knows and feels they are targeted by a heavily weaponised foreign power – US/Israel. The leadership in Tehran has been wily enough to instrumentalise this foreign threat, and at the same time further smash the Green movement. MORE